How my MIL ruined my wedding and made me want to set myself on fire just so I could get away from her crazy.

My hubby and I have been married for over 16 years now and I’m still annoyed about how our wedding ended up being such a suckfest. I know this will come off as just a whiny, rambling post with no merit but since this happened several years ago, it’s hard to give a play by play.

When it came to my wedding, my hubby and I were going to do things low-key. I really didn’t want any fuss and just wanted to marry my man. It was my dream to wear a simple wedding dress and a must was to have the wedding outdoors with a fresh flower bouquet made up of vibrant colors. Hell, I would have been happy with some fresh picked flowers from someone’s yard. I thought those three things would be very easy to have but my MIL made it so it wasn’t.

My soon to be hubby and I found a place nearby that does weddings outside in a garden and the place provided most of the things we needed. The best part was it was only a few hundred dollars so we were going to pay for it ourselves and we were only planning on inviting immediate family because we were both 20 years old and broke.

When we called my soon to be in-laws, excited to tell them our wedding plans, my mother-in-law freaked the hell out. She said No son of mine is getting married in some garden. You will be married in a church and that’s final! I felt like I was in some Lifetime movie of the week. I will never, ever forget her exact words over the phone that night.

I didn’t want to step on her toes so we let her have her way. Looking back, I would have stood up to her but at the time, I was too afraid. She didn’t give us much choice to have the wedding we wanted because of her flip outs.

After that, my dream wedding that I had planned to be simple and uncomplicated went downhill and became miserable and complicated when my MIL took control. I know they have a show for Bridezillas but they also need one for mother-in-lawzillas.

I will never get her but what really confused me is that while she wanted this nice and fancy wedding, she wanted to do things in a cheap way. My parents didn’t have much money and my future in-laws said they would take care of most of the wedding.

They live a pretty comfortable lifestyle and what annoyed me even more about my MIL wanting this wedding I didn’t want and then have her hemming and hawing over the price of things is this reason….my hubby’s older sister got married a few years earlier but they couldn’t decide on the location. My in-laws wanted it where they live and my BIL’s parents wanted it 4 hours away where they live. So, my in-laws ended up happily paying for two weddings.

From the very beginning my mother-in-law would go on and on about how my SIL got her dress from one particular place and the flowers for her wedding from another. I kind of felt like Jan Brady when she says Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! I’m a totally different person and it was annoying that my MIL couldn’t see that.

My future hubby and I drove down to the in-laws one weekend and we already knew that we would be getting most of the wedding preparations taken care of. I admit I had a chip on my shoulder because I wanted a simple wedding and since my MIL was absolutely insistent on this big church wedding, I thought fine, then I’m going to at least have some nice things I wanted.

First on the agenda was getting the wedding dress and while my future hubby stayed back at his parents house with his dad, me and my mother-in-law set out for some shops. Of course all of the places we went were where my SIL had gone a few years earlier.

The first place we went, I found THE dress. It was totally unexpected because I had a different style of dress in mind but as soon as I put it on, I knew it was the one. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to find it on the first try. I guess I wouldn’t make a great bride-to-be on Say Yes To The Dress.

When I walked out of the dressing room glowing and as happy as can be, the woman helping me took me to the middle of the room to stand and see myself in the 360 degree mirror. Angels sang, unicorns wept, and all that good stuff. Then my mother-in-law asked how much it was and when she found out the price, she said we needed to keep looking. I knew how much my sister-in-law’s TWO dresses were and the price of the one I wanted was nothing compared to just one of her wedding dresses.

Now this is where I come off as a really spoiled brat. I didn’t want any of this wedding crap in the first place and just planned on wearing a no frills dress for my wedding but figured since my mother-in-law was running the show, if anything I was going to get the dress I really wanted.

I tried to hide how upset I was from her as we went to another place to look at dresses and while I was trying on insane amounts of ivory silk with beading, I became upset and was crying since I knew that none of the other dresses would compare to the very first one. My MIL kept bringing in similar dresses that my sister-in-law liked and had tried on a few years prior and I just got angrier.

I had to finally step out of the dressing room since she wanted to have a look and there I was red-faced and teary eyed. The woman helping us thought I was crying about how great the dress I had on was. She didn’t know it was because my MIL was trying to have complete control over every detail, down to what dress I got.

When I mentioned to the woman that I found THE dress earlier that day, she said something like well, there’s no need to try anything else then. Once you find *the* dress, that’s it. My MIL wouldn’t budge and took me to one other dress place but I was finally so fed up and acting like a baby so I told her I didn’t care for any of the dresses.

That’s when she said we needed to go back home and “regroup” so we can discuss the wedding some more. My in-laws finally told us what they were willing to spend on the wedding (it was more her than my father-in-law) and I felt completely effed over.

I told her again how I really would love to just go get married at the place we planned on in the beginning and all hell broke loose. She went on and on about how it would be such an embarrassment to the family if my husband didn’t have a church wedding.

I didn’t understand how in the world she would insist on my hubby and I having a wedding we didn’t want and then making it so difficult to have the things that were needed like the dress and flowers for that type of wedding.

After a lot of discussion, it was decided that I would get *the* dress I wanted after all. I was so freaking happy but it didn’t last long because I found out soon enough that my MIL would make my life hell. It’s like she took her anger out on me because I got the wedding dress I wanted.

It’s hard to explain but it’s like she intentionally set me up to get excited about things for the wedding and then would tell me that we couldn’t get something after all. She was mindeffing me the whole time. My MIL knew how important it was that I at least have a fresh flower bouquet and she took me to this really nice florist my sister-ln-law used for her weddings.

With all the stress of dealing with the wedding and my MIL, going to this florist was just what I needed. We were there for a while and the florist showed me this simple but absolutely gorgeous tropical type of bouquet. My mother-in-law was oohing and aahing along with me and I was close to jumping up and down with excitement.

I told my MIL that I would just be fine with getting the wedding bouquet and the rest could be fake flowers. It wasn’t my preference but I was trying to play nice. She seemed fine with that and the florist got out the order slip. That’s when my MIL mindeffed me and said you know what, we’re not going to get the bouquet after all and then she walked out.

I stood there stunned for a minute and then walked out to her car. She told me because of my wedding dress, I have to just live with fake flowers for my wedding. I was thinking to myself why in the hell did she take me to look at fresh flowers and be thisclose to getting my bouquet when she seemed to have already decided on not getting them. Because she’s effing crazy, that’s why.

I also knew it wasn’t because of the wedding dress I picked. I could’ve picked a $20 dollar dress and she would have still been the way she was. She ended up taking me somewhere to not only get fake flowers, they were some of the tackiest flowers you could possibly get.

After that I said f*ck it and went along with whatever she picked while thinking how her mother-in-law was probably the same way with her. Yes, I bitch about her but I still try to get along with her as best as I can.

My MIL was 3 months pregnant with my sister-in-law and had no other choice but to marry my father-in-law back in the day. From what I know from my hubby, the wedding was really rushed and there was unhappiness with it all around.

It seems like the moment my hubby put the engagement ring on my finger, my mother-in-law has wanted to make me as miserable as she’s been.

I do plan on having my hubby and I renew our vows so we can have the simple, outdoor wedding we wanted in the first place but it might be awhile. When it comes to having a 2 1/2 year old, right now I would prefer to take the money and go away for the weekend to catch up on some much needed sleep.

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29 Responses to How my MIL ruined my wedding and made me want to set myself on fire just so I could get away from her crazy.

  1. Alma Olivares October 5, 2011 at 00:42 #

    That’s a whole new level of crazy! You are a strong one to put up with that and still try to get along. Damn. Oh, and FYI they do have a crazy-mother-who-is-so-controlling-she-ruins-the-wedding show. it’s called Momster of the Bride.

  2. Al_Pal October 5, 2011 at 02:04 #

    Holy frap, lady, what a trauma!!! That sucks so bad. Totally nutzoid. I’ve had to make compromises in my wedding planning, but it is still all nice stuff, I’m incredibly lucky to have an awesome and generous mom who doesn’t insist on me being super traditional when that’s not who I am.
    Hugs to you. May you have your beautiful garden renewal.

  3. Chelle Moser Newton October 5, 2011 at 06:32 #

    Elle,

    When we showed my now in-laws my engagement ring, my FIL looked at my now husband and said, “Are you even DIVORCED yet?” Oh yeah, it went downhill from there.

    I did come to love my in-laws, but it took YEARS because the first wife was the favored one. After I had three grandsons, they finally came around somewhat, but it’s only in the last oh five (?) years that I’ve felt like a part of the family and that’s only because they decided they hated my brother-in-law’s wife more.

    Oh yeah. In-laws are SO much fun. (NOT!)

    Hugs,
    Chelle

  4. City Momma October 5, 2011 at 08:01 #

    Ugh, Elle. I don’t know how you do it.

  5. SunshinesMommie October 5, 2011 at 10:23 #

    Man! You totally get the “Do Over” Award. For your 20th or 25th wedding anniversary get remarried your way!!! No MIL’s invited!!! Or, heck…. do it next year because then it will totally be a surprise as 17 is not like a 20th or 25th in which said MIL would expect you to do an exchange of vows again and would be out to eff that up too. That would SOOOO suck. My MIL didn’t do a damn thing for the wedding. It has all to do with the baby and how I should raise my child and be barefoot and pregnant serving my hubby dinner every night. Riiiiigggghhhhttt! You totally get the do over award.

  6. Elle P. October 5, 2011 at 19:10 #

    You totally deserve a do- over.

    My own mother was like that for my own wedding- I was newly pregnant with our first son, which was completely unplanned. So because I was trying to keep the peace in a tense situation with her, I went along with everything she insisted upon. EVERYTHING. She planned the whole thing, insisted I get a certain dress because she deemed the dress *I* wanted, as inappropriate. You know… because I was *whispers* pregnant. It was awful. And when I thought it couldn’t get worse? She declared that she will be wearing a white dress to MY wedding. Oh yes she did.

    I want a do- over too.

  7. Christi October 5, 2011 at 20:19 #

    That’s absolutely awful! When I was reading all that, I kept wishing that someone would have noticed how she was being and just slapped her across the face! I’m so lucky that my MIL lives in Arizona, so I don’t have to deal with her too often, but we did have an incident involving our honeymoon with her. She pretty much invited herself to our honeymoon. I put my foot down, so she didn’t come, but I just don’t understand why MIL’s think they can do these things.

  8. Erin October 5, 2011 at 21:31 #

    That is all sorts or crazy right there. I hope you get your do-over ’cause you deserve it. I’m so lucky with my MIL & FIL–they love me so much they surprised us with a gift of paying for the wedding, reception, rehearsal, my dress–almost everything that we had originally planned on paying for ourselves. Then they bought all sorts of things that they knew I wanted but had removed due to our budget. I got the wedding of my dreams because of them. Every girl deserves that, so go have your dream wedding as a vow renewal. I had to get my second husband to get my dream wedding, but you don’t have to go that route.

  9. NotMyYearOff October 5, 2011 at 23:11 #

    Oh my god Elle, she sounds completely crazy and nasty. At 20 i would have just broken down a lot, I was never equipped to deal with mind effers at that age. You sound like one strong woman even back then. My in laws didn’t come to our wedding (I wasn’t good enough blah blah, although now they come around a lot since I had baby). I hope you get your do-over! You SO deserve it!

  10. Alison October 6, 2011 at 05:27 #

    This makes me so sad for you…and angry. Why, WHY do people make others weddings about them?! This happened to us, only on a smaller scale. I kept saying, “this is OUR wedding, it’s about us. Not everyone else and what they want!”. I hope you do get to renew your vows one day, and that it’s exactly what you dreamed of the first time around!

  11. Suzi October 6, 2011 at 09:22 #

    That’s a little funny. My MIL also caused issues at my wedding. We had a very small private wedding…we basically eloped with a wedding party. But my in-laws took it upon themselves to invite an extra couple of their friends. It’s been 4 years and I’m still not over it. This is mostly due to the fact that she hasn’t apologized for it.

  12. Truth Mama October 7, 2011 at 01:18 #

    That’s awful! I hate when people try to make other people’s events about themselves and what THEY want. When I got married, I told my MIL she could help with the centerpieces for the wedding. We went to lunch to talk about it, and she busted out this terrible 80s candle thing with fake, green ivy around it. When I told her I didn’t like it she told me, “Well, I already bought 200 of these”. She did this without consulting me AT ALL. I stuck to my guns about it saying I didn’t like it. She asked me what I didn’t like about it and I said I wasn’t really into greenery. She must have said “You gotta have greenery” at least eight times.

    Eventually, I bought my own centerpieces. She bitched to everyone how I kept “changing my mind” about everything. I’ve learned that she’s going to be unhappy no matter what we do, so we just do whatever we want now without worrying about if it’s upsetting her or not. Now we kind of get enjoyment out of pissing her off, because the things she gets mad at are so ridiculous. You should totally do a re-do at 10 years or something – you deserve it!!

  13. misslexywoo October 7, 2011 at 02:43 #

    This made me so sad for you. What an awful thing to do over and over again at what should have been one of the most exciting times of your life. Huge cuddles and no you don’t come off whiny at all. You come off upset, and you have every right to be! Xx

  14. Rachel October 9, 2011 at 17:28 #

    I’m not sure I could have kept my mouth shut. I don’t know how you did it!

  15. Mandi October 30, 2011 at 08:02 #

    Oh my goodness, you are a saint. I don’t know how you dealt with her and continue to deal with her crazy ass.

  16. Mary July 5, 2012 at 14:56 #

    It’s so nice to read these things. I just went through a smaller scale situation, only my MIL was supposed to hem and bustle my perfect dress. I told her several times that I didn’t want her to cut my train shorter and I wanted a bustle. She cut 5 inches off my train and safety pinned it up the day of the wedding. I spent the whole night running to the bathroom and repinning because I was getting poked and scratched. Then my dress was ripped and torn by the end of the night. And she kept saying that that was how it was supposed to be. I’m sure I’ll get over this, but it has since destroyed our relationship. She also deliberately changed things I had asked for about the wedding to fit her needs. She forced me to invite people, who didn’t even give us a card. I gave her a guest number of 100 and she gave me 180 people. She cried when I asked her to cut it down. Then a week before the wedding gave me another invitation to send out. I had to cut my guest list down to keep it in capacity.
    My husband is an only child and she has made her worst nightmare come true. I will be civil towards her because I am married to her son, but until she decides to appologize my relationship will remain detached with her.

  17. JB July 9, 2012 at 12:50 #

    oh lord, I feel really bad for you. This is kinda happening with us. My entire family lives in another state, and I have a small family. My fiance and I just got engaged a month ago. His parents had a huge catholic wedding and his mom was raised Jewish. So she grew up around BIG WEDDING traditions. We want something small because my family cannot afford a big wedding, and his parents are not happy about it. (but last I checked it wasn’t their wedding, and it’s not really their decision….can you detect my bitterness toward their normally controlling manners?) My fiance and I have talked about it for a long time now that we want an intimate, family and close friend ceremony. We opted for a small non-denominational Christian chapel and are inviting about 35 people. But now we are having the issue of his mom wanting to invite her close friends. Well…it’s not her wedding and we don’t want more people! I guess I feel lucky in that his mom is not throwing a fit about him not getting married in an actual church. We want to have a small party afterward at his parent’s house and then in my home state with the rest of my family that couldn’t make the trip down. It’s a HUGE headache, and we aren’t even planning a reception or anything!!! I can only imagine. My fiance’s friend and his wife eloped years ago on a wedding cruise. The cruise ship had a special for couples eloping, and after each were married, the cruise ship had a huge reception with all of the couples and the guests on the boat. They said they had a blast, and were so glad they did it that way. I already but a $400 deposit on the chapel, but am starting to wish we just ran away and forget about it…

  18. Cathie December 4, 2012 at 05:08 #

    I can’t help but wish that I was you. At least you got to marry the man you love, and in the dress that you loved. I tried to marry the man I love, last year, but the inlaws got too involved, and put a huge stop on the wedding. In the end, his side was refusing to come if we invited my side of the family, and visa versa. ( and it was all over issues like location, invitations, who to include/exclude on on wedding invitation list, to have children there or not etc). In the end there was nothing we could do but cancel.

  19. Nisha January 28, 2013 at 13:02 #

    I know exactly what you mean. My wedding plans are taking place, date’s been booked, and in a few months we will be married but I FEEL SO MISERABLE!

    A look into the past.
    Me and my fiancé have been dating for the past 4 years, we got engaged 2yrs ago. About my mother in law, she expected her son to do an arrange marriage, so the moment he told her about me, she was very upset, threw a big tantrum, adviced him that I’m not the perfect girl for him, and that our relationship wont last. Keep in mind, that this was all before she even knew me.

    1yr later: The engagement

    My fiance spoke to my MIL about getting engaged. She was very upset and would not agree. However, everyone else from my husband’s family loves me. My mother in law’s sisters were really supportive of me, and had to convince her to finally agree. It was not easy though, apparently she had a heart problem and she accused me of being the cause. again keep in mind that i have not even met her yet or even spoke to her.

    Finally my parents meet with my inlaws and confirmed that we would be getting engaged. We wanted to do the engagement simple at our house. My mother in law would not agree to this one bit! She forced us to get a banquet hall and the total guests for the engagement was 200, (50 from my family, 150 from his family) and my family had to pay for the entire engagement. My fiancé and his family did not pay a penny. we received close to $5000 cash as gifts from my side of the family, his side of the family amounted to $2000. At the end of the engagement, my MIL took the bag with the money and she opened all the envelopes and told me what amount was there, and forced us to open a bank account together and deposit the cash.

    Now the wedding:
    After a long struggle, we got my mother in law to agree to doing the wedding in 2013. My parents agreed to pay half the wedding cost. So, I assumed that my fiance would be paying the other half. My MIL has a totally different view on things. She wants my parents to pay half the wedding costs ($15000), buy me gold for $25000, and pay dowry of $25000, a total of $65000! I’m surprised my parents agreed to this. I come from a poor family, I feel so guilty that my parents have to do all this.
    What makes me mad is the fact that my fiancé does not at all talk to his mom about any of this! whenever i try to raise the issue with him, his only reply is “I’ve got nothing to do with this, talk to my mom and sort it out”.

    Now coming to the issue, We will be doing a hindu wedding, and our symbol of marriage is called the thaali. It is a gold chain with a pendant inscribed with religious inscriptions. THE GROOMS SIDE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BUYING THE THAALI. The thaali is quite expensive. In my family, every women including my mother has a thaali that’s made up of 168g gold. This would probably cost 168*49= $9912. No one i know of wears smaller than this.

    Initially my fiance agreed to this. Now, my MIL stepped in, and doesn;t want him to buy it, instead she wants him to use her 30+yr old thaali. I’m furious, but my fiancé’s response “talk to my mom”.

    I honestly can;t understand these people, their cost of wedding is basically nothing because my parents are giving them dowry, and they won;t even buy me a proper THAALI!
    I lost all hopes in my fiancé and I HATE MY MOTHER IN LAW!

    My fiance lets his mother control him. when i tried to tell him, that it’s our wedding, and that his mom should let us decide what we want, his response was my mother’s opinion matters more.

    This is such a shock to me, I cannot believe this is the man i dated for the last 4yrs. I can;t even cancel the wedding anymore, my family would hate me if I did. My parents are just telling me not to worry about the expenses and just get along.

    PLZZZ HELP!!! I DON;T KNOW WAT TO DO!

    • Ashley April 11, 2013 at 19:05 #

      Maybe not marry him? If he follows her every command, he will be doing it through your marriage too. Imagine her telling you how to raise your own children? Buy a home? Forever.

  20. Ashley April 11, 2013 at 19:04 #

    My Mother-in-Law was the same. We were 20s and had no money, but we decided to get married right before school started. My mother was to take half, and his parents the other. Well because she wasn’t getting what she wanted, she ditched, and we ended up paying the other half with the money family and friends gave us as presents. Really not what we wanted, since we were hoping to put that towards paying bills, and books for college.
    It’s been over 6 months, but every time I look back on it, I actually end up crying a little becaue it was definitely not the wedding of my dreams.

  21. Megly Mc July 19, 2013 at 21:33 #

    I completely feel you. My sister-in-law was such a trainwreck leading up to my wedding, that we had to kick her out of the wedding party…three times. Family can be difficult at the best of times, but when you add in a high-stress event…the gloves come off.

    I think having the renewal the way you want is a great idea, and if you haven’t done it already, I hope you do. :)
    Megly Mc recently posted..Tag It and Bag It.My Profile

  22. 3boys1girl November 6, 2013 at 22:30 #

    I sympathise completely. My MIL was the same. She offered to pay for our wedding cake but refused to listen to what I wanted, even going so far as to visit ‘her cake lady’ on her own. I had left a picture of what I wanted with her and she seemed determined to change it. The ‘cake lady’ didn’t have the correct size cutters, so the question was… would 5cm diameter flowers do the job as well as the 1 cm flowers I had chosen? Oh… and she thought maybe some of those tacky plastic gold rings would really set it off.
    When I stood up to her and told her it wasn’t what I wanted she refused to pay for the cake at all. Up until a few weeks before the wedding we were not going to have cake. Luckily some extra money came through and I ended up with exactly what I wanted.

    MIL refused to eat any cake at the wedding.

    And that’s just one story.

  23. Katy Bug February 20, 2014 at 20:30 #

    Good Lord! That’s awful! I got so upset just READING about your MIL that I had to skim through the second half of the post. (Sorry.) I don’t know how you didn’t totally flip out on her.

    My wedding wasn’t nearly as bad as that, but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. One day, I want to renew my vows and get the exact wedding I wanted – very small ceremony with a big party afterward!
    Katy Bug recently posted..Magical Tetris CupMy Profile

  24. laurean February 21, 2014 at 15:52 #

    This was pretty much my wedding you described. I wanted a simple elopement but as soon as she found out, it all went downhill from there. It was like she was punishing me for not wanting the big wedding she had always hoped we would have. She told me I was too fat for the dress I wanted (I was 120 pounds) so she chose another one. Whatever. She chose everything, and I had no say. I was so stressed and in tears that day when she showed up to the wedding wearing all white. As I walked down the aisle, I held back tears as I saw that my dad and stepmom weren’t in the pews. Right after we had said I do, they walked into the church. Turns out, my mil doesn’t approve of divorce and blended families, so she called my dad that morning to let him know the time had changed so he wasn’t there to see me get married. I still cry when I think about it. I hated my wedding day, and if I had to do it over, we would have eloped. Over a hundred of her (uninvited by me) friends showed up to the reception, ate, and left before the program started. She had invited them behind our back and that probably hurt the most, since we actually paid for most of the wedding, I just tried to honor her wishes along the way and it backfired. It’s been six months, and I can’t bring myself to even think about what was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. I know exactly how you feel. I know it sounds like a lifetime movie, but this shit sucks in real life.

  25. laurean February 21, 2014 at 16:00 #

    Oh, and my dad had flown in from out of town. He didn’t walk me down the aisle due to us never being close, but I still wanted him at my wedding, ya know?

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